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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Arriving in Australia!


Today I arrived in Sydney, Australia and headed for the train where I bought the $70 seven day multipass for bus/train. After finding my hostel I headed out and stopped for a kebab on the way to McDonalds.

During my walk I met a guy from the Netherlands who is also on a year work & holiday visa. We talked about cultural things and travel in general and soon we arrived at McDonald's. I used the Wifi while he got food and then we walked out to the harbour (not harbor, we're in Australia now!). After hangin out a bit we split up and I went back to McDonald's. My battery was dead so I began to leave but ended up talking to a Aussie conspiracy theorist who claims that Australia is actually playing possum and that this is why the world news never seems to have anything to say about Australia. He said that Australia actually had twice the population and military strength than what the rest of the world is aware of. His reasoning for this was that it was a way to draw the chinese "ethnics" out into the open... At about 3a I decided it was time to leave so I suggested that my hostel might have a curfew (it might have for all I knew) and bid him a g'day. On the way back I talked to an Aussie from Brisbane who, like so many Aussies it seems, plans to visit Canada. I also ran into an Irish couple who wanted to know if I was American and then went on to claim that I must be German... as if my accent was even remotely German. Interesting how busy things are at 3a here. No traffic, but lots of people on the street.


Today I woke up late and went to McDonalds where the wifi was down so an Italian couple that I met showed me to a mall where they had found wifi before. As we were parting ways I found out about a hostel that the Italian couple were at and went to check it out. A few hours later I was checked in at the new hostel (City Resort Hostel) in Wooloomooloo and on my way to check out of the old one in Surry Hills.
City Resort is a good deal - especially if you do a week there. It's a bit more crowded than the first hostel but it's a better location, more interesting and has free wifi! The first one I stayed in was "Kangaroo Bakpak" and it was more like a chill hangout with pay-to-use wifi. If you're interested in a more relaxed environment then Kangaroo Bakpak is probably better. All in all the price is about the same ($26/night at City and $25, plus $5 for internet, at Kangaroo. After getting my stuff from Kangaroo I came back and joined some others up on the terrace. After a few drinks we all went down to the common space... this is when we met Jacob. I assume Jacob is the guy our hostel manager Alex was referring to when he said, "there's always one guy that just doesn't get along well with others."

As Jacob drunkedly pissed off everyone in the room I just feigned ignorance... until he started slapping one guy with his hat. I spoke up, he backed down and a few of us decided it was time for a trip to McDonald's. On our way we found ourselves in the middle of a big police intervention where they were taking down several people who were fighting in a bar. Turns out a group of about ten guys just broke out in an all out brawl and we were arriving at the scene as it was being dealt with by police. As we passed, a guy was grabbed and dragged over to the wall right in front of us. We continued on to McDonald's where a girl was collapsing and soon EMDs showed up to help her. On the way back to the hostel I walked passed a guy who was being interviewed and found myself staring into a news camera.

Back at the hostel I sat in the commons as Jacob passed out on the floor and then went on to conversing with a kid from New Caledonia in three different languages - French, Spanish, and English.


Today I was woken up early by a drunk guy in my room... Jacob. After eating I set out to do a tour of Sydney with Calum from the night before. I learned of Australia's convict heritage and alcohol financed infrastructure. Sydney's foundations can be greatly attributed to enslaved prisoners and those sent to lead and police the development of a decidedly desolate land.

After I got back to the hostel we all had drinks on the terrace and I ate some pasta that Calum made. After a few drinks and a card game we all headed out to a pub which also turned out to be a pay-to-enter club... I hate these. I paid the $5 to get in and joined the others but it was as expected - expensive drinks and everyone bumping around into each other while attempting to dance... oh well, just have to make the best of it.


Today I woke up late and had breakfast with Jacob. He was surprisingly sober for probably the first time since I met him. Later, some of us decided to go to the pub for snake bite jugs (fruit punch tasting beer in about two pint cups). After a couple of those I was fairly enjoying myself while twirling a cup.. which pretty much set off a few bystanders. Being a few drinks in they weren't very forgiving and in fact got pretty defensive to the point that even twirling my finger sent them over the edge. At this point I decided it best to just start drinking water and keep myself out of the focus for a while.

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